Project Description

Malke Asaad, MD


Dr. Asaad grew up in Aleppo, Syria, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. He attended medical school at Aleppo University continuously ranking first in his class and graduating valedictorian among 380 students. During the war in Aleppo, he witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of plastic surgery procedures on trauma patients giving them back their function and quality of life. Following graduation, Dr. Asaad started his first research position at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in the Department of Plastic Surgery. During his time at the Mayo Clinic, he worked on projects related to clinical outcomes of breast, pelvic, cranial, and thoracic reconstruction in addition to surgical educational research projects. In 2019, he moved to the number one cancer center in the world, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas where he worked as a research fellow in the Department of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Asaad was privileged to work under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Butler and the other world-renowned microsurgeons leading multiple large clinical research projects to evaluate the clinical outcomes of abdominal wall, pelvic, breast, and head and neck reconstruction.

Why Pitt?

Pittsburgh has the combination of everything a resident would look for. A phenomenal clinical training, superb research opportunities in a familial environment that emphasizes camaraderie and resident wellness.


  • Awarded the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) 2020 Winter Retreat Travel Scholarship.
  • Awarded the 2nd place in the Cancer Survivorship Abstract Competition for Trainee Research Day 2021, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
  • Awarded the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) 2020 National Conference Student Scholarship.
  • Awarded the 2021 the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) Cannon Student Scholarship.
  • Recipient of the “Al’Bassel Award” for Academic Excellence for ranking first out of 380 medical students for 5 consecutive academic years (2010-2015) and graduating as Valedictorian.
  • Honored by the President of the Syrian Arab Republic in 2010 for ranking first in the country out of ≈300,000 students in the Syrian National Baccalaureate Exam with a score of 290 out of 290 (100%).


During 3 years of research, Dr. Asaad published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Annals of Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Surgery, Journal of American College of Surgeons, and many others. Dr. Asaad also has over 80 oral and poster presentations at local, regional, and national conferences and is part of the editorial board of the Annals of Plastic Surgery and the PRS residency advisory board. Dr. Asaad has reviewed over 120 papers for peer-reviewed journals and has over 800 citations.

Areas of Interest

Reconstructive microsurgery especially complex reconstruction and lymphedema. Dr. Asaad is also interested in machine learning and surgical education trying to find innovative ways to improve residents’ education and surgical skills.